Despite the negative connotations associated with its name, which flower is surprisingly hardy?
And the answer: pansies.
Pansies are resilient in colder temperatures. They can withstand frost and bloom again after harsh winters. Pansies are “cool-season annuals” meaning they prefer cooler weather and typically go dormant during hotter months.
Accordingly, these cold-weather flowers are the birth flower of those born in February. Since purple pansies are some of the most popular variety, this plays off the hue of February’s birthstone: the amethyst. Since pansies are early bloomers, too, February babies just might be able to pluck a few during their birth month.
Not only are pansies beautiful, colorful, and resilient, but they're delicious, too. That's right— pansy flowers are edible, decorative flowers that look great on a cake or in a salad. Both the blooms and the leaves are edible and high in vitamins A and C. They taste like a slightly floral version of lettuce, and the flowers can be used to make syrup, flavored honey, and natural dyes.
Pansies also occupy a symbolic role in literature and popular culture. The flower is often connoted with love and affection, largely as a result of their use in the love potion of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream. Historic references of pansies date back to their use in traditional Celtic herbal love remedies.
The name "pansy" comes from the French word, pensee, meaning thought or remembrance. Next time you're thinking of a loved one, send 'em a pansy!